Arsenal won't sign Beckham or Villa, Balotelli 'to join AC Milan'

Jan 29, 2013
Bill Mann

Wenger hopes Beckham's presence will have a positive effect as Balotelli prepares to leave England

ARSENAL have so far failed to sign any big name players during the January transfer window, but this morning startled fans were treated to the sight of the biggest name of all, David Beckham, trotting around in Arsenal kit as he trained with the Gunners.

The Sun was at pains to point out that the 37-year-old is a free agent after leaving the LA Galaxy at the end of the MLS season, and titillated Gunners fans by declaring that his appearance was part of a "top secret plan" for him to train with the first-team squad.

However, Wenger is revelling in his role as Arsenal killjoy this January and was at pains to point out that the former England captain was not about to join the Gunners. Indeed it all appears to be part of Wenger's grand plan to help footballing geriatrics like Becks, Thierry Henry, who trained with the Gunners before Christmas, and Sol Campbell, who also used to turn up to training sessions.

"[Beckham] has asked to come here and work on his fitness," Wenger told the club website. "There's no speculation about signing or anything. He's come here purely for fitness purposes.

"We are open for people who behave well when they come here and who have made a great service for English football - you always try to help."

So if Beckham is not joining what about Barcelona striker David Villa? The Spaniard has been is agitating for a move away from the Camp Nou this month and has made it clear that he wants to join Arsenal.

However, Wenger, told the Daily Mail: "Barcelona do not want to sell David Villa, they have made that very, very clear." Asked if he might try and negotiate he replied: "No."

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli's time in the English game appears to be coming to an end. According to Metro, Manchester City have accepted a £20m offer from AC Milan for the striker, who has brightened up the Premier League no end since he arrived at the Etihad in the summer of 2010.

The paper says that according to sources in Italy the only thing that remains to be sorted out are the player's personal terms.

Elsewhere and a deal that is signed, sealed and delivered is Leroy Fer's move to Everton. The Toffees' website announced the deal in a statement that said "the 23-year-old midfielder will head to Merseyside to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical".

Fer, capped twice by Holland, began his career at Feyenoord before making the switch to Twente where he has scored ten goals in 29 appearances. The deal is believed to have cost Everton around £7.7million but it will be money well spent in the eyes of manager David Moyes after he complained recently of a lack of steel in the midfield.

Fer is nicknamed 'the Bouncer' on account of his strapping physique and Moyes will aim to use his strength as Everton push for a top four finish in the Premier League.

Talksport reports that QPR and Celtic are both "keen" on Ivory Coast full-back Siaka Tiene. The 30-year-old is currently in South Africa as part of the Ivory Coast squad at the Africa Cup of Nations but he's hopeful of a Premier League move after falling out of favour this season at Paris Saint-Germain.

Talksports say that Tiene has struggled for game time in Paris and wants to "resurrect" his career in England. Harry Redknapp has made no secret of his desire to beef up Rangers as they bid to avoid relegation while Celtic manager Neil Lennon is rumoured to be an admirer of Tiene's.

Finally, the Evening Standard reports that Schalke and Spurs have agreed to bring forward the signing of midfielder Lewis Holtby by six months.

Though the Lilywhites snapped up the 22-year-old earlier in the month it was with a view to bringing him to the Lane in the summer. But the Standard says the Germany international will arrive in London this week to begin his new career. Spurs' actions have been prompted by the serious knee injury suffered by Sandro a fortnight ago that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Tottenham's satisfaction with the new arrangement was evident in a statement they issued in which they said: "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Schalke for the immediate transfer of Lewis Holtby."

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